When the final battle to decide who ultimately sits on the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms is decided, it’s a good bet that the man known as “The Mountain That Rides” will be swinging his mighty blade in service to House Lannister.
While on television, Hafthor Bjornsson, aka Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, has been known as a highly feared warrior on HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones.”
However, the professional strongman and former basketball player never envisioned becoming an actor. In fact, if his career had gone slightly differently, you might have seen The Mountain line up for the Indianapolis Colts.
Football has long had a fascination with big, powerful men who perhaps lack a background on the gridiron.
While best known for playing the Incredible Hulk on television, bodybuilding legend Lou Ferrigno was once a defensive lineman for the Toronto Argonauts.
Current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar made headlines when he tried out for the Minnesota Vikings prior to joining the UFC.
And, perhaps most intriguing of all, is the urban legend that Hall of Fame Coach George Allen once invited Andre the Giant to try out for the Redskins.
Jim Irsay has never been afraid to do things his own way. An avid collector of rock and roll and literature memorabilia, the Colts owner was reportedly interested in signing Bjornsson in 2013 with visions of him protecting franchise quarterback Andrew Luck.
At a reported 6-foot-9 and 419 pounds, it is quite easy to see what Irsay had in mind for The Mountain. He went as far as to make reference to signing “the Icelander” in a tweet:
Off/Def Lineman,so many 6-3 to 6-7..320-365 lbs/Big,Physical and Nasty! Speaking of size/strength..GM Grig's just might sign "The Icelander"— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) May 13, 2013
However, despite his massive size and equally huge potential, it was not meant to be. Bjornsson’s pro sports dreams died when his basketball career ended due to knee injuries. That launched him on his path to bodybuilding and weightlifting.
While football’s loss has been television’s gain, it is fun to imagine what might have been.